Maddon taking game-by-game approach to Bucs series

Cubs set for four games in three days against NL Wild Card leaders

Maddon taking game-by-game approach to Bucs series

PHILADELPHIA -- The Cubs have a chance to gain some ground in the National League Wild Card standings if they do well against the Pirates in their upcoming four-game series, but manager Joe Maddon wants the players to take it one game at time.

"Four one-game winning streaks would be great," Maddon said of the series, which will feature four games in three days. "If you start getting caught up in that big thing, it could really mess your head up. You just play that game and move on."

The Cubs, who trail the Pirates by four games in the NL Central standings and the Wild Card standings, will play a day-night doubleheader on Tuesday, followed by single games Wednesday and Thursday.

"It's a lot of fun, it's a lot of fun for everybody," Maddon said of playing important series. "This is why you work, this is why you do this thing to be in that position to play those games. It's exciting for everybody -- us, the fan base, baseball fans."

But he's stressing one game at a time.

"It's about today's game and then the first game on Tuesday," he said.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.